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COVID-19 care facility in society? Here's what Health Ministry guidelines say

With coronavirus cases in India seeing a steep rise in the past week, the Union Health Ministry-led by Dr Harsh Vardhan has issued guidelines for societies and gates RWAs who are willing to set up a COVID19 care facility for patients benefit. Here's what societies and RWAs need to strictly follow:

Edited by: India TV News Desk New Delhi Published on: July 19, 2020 9:43 IST
covid care facility noida guidelines health ministry

A care facility set up by the RWA in Noida's Eldeco Utopia Society. Health Ministry has issued guidelines for setting up of COVID-19 care facility/quarantine centres. 

The Union Health Ministry led by Dr Harsh Vardhan on Friday released guidelines for gated residential complexes that wish to set up small Covid care facilities in their premises. With cases seeing a rise in the last few weeks across states, several societies and RWAs, especially in Metro cities, had shown their interest in setting up a coronavirus care facility within their premises. 

On Friday, the Health Ministry issued guidelines laying out the ground rules for setting up of a Covid care facility within societies and RWA-managed areas.

Here's what the Health Ministry Guidelines say:

1. The Covid care facility will be a dedicated health facility for management of suspect, asymptomatic, presymptomatic and very mild cases of coronavirus among the residents of the particular gated complex, and will be set up using the resources of RWAs, Residential Societies or NGOs.

2. This facility is NOT meant for an elderly patient, child (less than 10 years), pregnant/lactating women, patients with comorbidities (diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, kidney disease, chronic respiratory disease, cancer, other immune-compromised states), who shall be admitted to the appropriate Covid care health facility.

3. The Covid care facility will be a makeshift one which may be set up in a community hall, centre, common utility area within the premises of residential complexes or empty flats which are isolated location-wise from the rest of the occupied dwelling.

4. The Covid care facility should have a separate entry and exit.

5. Entrance to have mandatory hand hygiene (sanitizer dispenser) and thermal screening provisions for caregivers.

6. The beds shall be placed with spatial separation of at least 1 meter (3 feet) from one another. The guidelines further said used linen, pillow covers, towels can be kept in disposable bags for 72 hours and then washed at the patient's home using commonly used detergents.

7. Cleaning and regular disinfection (using 1 percent sodium hypochlorite) of frequently touched surfaces (doorknobs, elevator buttons, hand rails, benches, washroom fixtures, etc.) to be carried out twice daily in all common areas.

8. Effective and frequent sanitation, thrice a day, within the facility premises shall be maintained with particular focus on lavatories, drinking and hand washing stations/areas.

9. The guidelines further said monitoring of the facility will be regularly done and it shall be regularly inspected by the registered respiratory therapists (RRTs) to provide guidance to the RWA and residential society

9. In case the RRT (Registered Respiratory Therapists) finds that the facility is either not suitable or does not have the required wherewithal, they may advise RWA and residential society to discontinue the facility.

10. Patients should at all times use a triple layer medical mask. Discard mask after 8 hours of use or earlier if they become wet or visibly soiled. Mask should be discarded only after disinfecting it with 1 per cent sodium hypochlorite.

11. Patient must stay in the identified bed and shall avoid interaction with other people, especially elderlies and those with comorbid conditions.

Health Ministry Advisory for gated residential complexes

1. Persons above 65 years of age, persons with comorbidities, pregnant women and children below the age of 10 years should be encouraged to stay at home only and keep contact with visitors/guests to a minimum. RWAs may advise all members accordingly.

2. Thermal screening of visitors/staff is to be carried out at entry points and only asymptomatic individuals shall be allowed to enter the premises.

3. Vendors, household helps, car cleaners, delivery personnel, etc. will also undergo such screening daily. Physical distancing of at least 6 feet to be followed as far as feasible at all locations at all times in all common areas, including parks, corridors, lift lobbies, gyms, clubs.

4. The advisory further said the seating arrangement, in common areas like parks etc. to be made in such a way that adequate social distancing is maintained.

5. Number of people in the elevators shall be restricted, duly maintaining social distancing norms.

6. Frequent sanitization of the common facilities, and all points which come into human contact, e.g. door handles, benches, elevator buttons, electric switches, railings, etc. shall be ensured.


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